By NBF News
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IN a renewed bid to ensure that women perform above average when appointed into leadership positions, the African Women Leaders Think-Tank (AWLTT) has begun mentoring and training women for leadership development.

A statement signed by the Regional Director of AWLTT, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluremi Aribisala, at the weekend, said that the organisation's Leadership and Mentorship Center for African Women (LAMCAW) would award certificates in 'Strategic Leadership Development' to women participants at its second graduation ceremony to be held in Lagos.

Nigeria, during her tenure as the chairperson of the African Union (AU) in 2005, spearheaded and hosted the African women leaders' forum in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. The outcome of the Ota forum was the formation of the African Women Leaders Think-Tank (AWLTT), as an international non-governmental organisation.

The statement added that the African Women Leaders Think-Tank had therefore become a platform for the best of African womanhood to build capacity for women, network and dialogue, research and offer solutions to challenges being faced on daily basis by African women.

AWLTT established a 'Leadership & Mentorship Centre for African Women, (LAMCAW) for capacity building of African women through the Leadership & Mentorship Programme (LAMP).

LAMCAW's formation is in line with the AU's 'African Women's Decade 2010-2020', the  'Beijing Platform of Action', the  'Millennium  Development Goals' and the 'Programme of the International Conference for Population and Development,' (ICPD).

It hinted that LAMCAW had the potential to bring about a 'revolution' in the realisation of African women's civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights.

The statement added: 'LAMCAW will make very big impact on the participants and equip them to speak out and contribute in governance and decision making. It will also enhance their capacities to manage and own action plans that fit into local government, national and regional policies and programmes. They will also be equipped with skills that help them mentor and develop other women. On the 22nd of January, AWLTT is presenting LAMCAW to the whole world, especially Africa and placing it globally as the first leadership centre in Africa exclusively for women. To the best of our knowledge, LAMCAW is the first of its kind to be established in Africa.'

It would be recalled that Ms. Litha Musyimi-Ogana, Director Women, Gender and Development of the African Union Commission, had on behalf of the Commission commended LAMCAW as a fruitful mentorship programme in the context of theme 10 of the African women's decade 2010-2020.

The statement was quick to add that AWLTT needs male partnership to ensure the credibility and acceptability of LAMCAW. To this end, it said that on January 22nd, 2011, gender sensitive men would be inducted as partners to the centre alongside women who were determined to give back to the community through coaching and mentoring of participants at LAMCAW.

African Women Leaders Think-Tank by establishing the AWLTT Leadership and Mentorship Centre for African Women (LAMCAW) is committed to equipping the younger women with strategic leadership skills through coaching, mentoring and transfer of best practices in order to prepare them for excellent performance should any opportunity arise for serving their nation.

This also enables them kick the ground and perform well, when promoted or appointed to top positions.

It added that the organisation is also committed to building capacity for the existing African female leaders in order to enhance their performance and thereby promote positive governing of African countries and legislation around gender issues as well as nurturing of our communities.

The group stressed that the future of Nigeria and the African continent lies in good leadership, which seems to be scarce, adding: 'Empowering female leadership is empowering the nation and the continent as the quality of African women's leadership equals the quality of life in Africa.'

The Head of Service of the Federation, Professor Oladapo Afolabi is expected to be the special guest of honour, while the commissioning of AWLTT Leadership and Mentorship Center for African Women (LAMCAW) will be done by the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Ms. Josephine Yinoe Tapgun.